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What Foreign Entrepreneurs Need To Know About LLCs

Stephen Hart

Stephen Hart

Founder - Cardswitcher

Former - Chief Financial Officer @ Worldpay

Imagine being an entrepreneur in the U.K. or elsewhere, harbouring aspirations of extending your business reach. Forming an LLC in the United States could be a powerful strategy to realize this dream.

But what's an LLC, you might ask?

An LLC, or Limited Liability Company, is a business structure that combines partnership flexibility with the liability protection of a corporation. This means it protects your personal assets from business debts or lawsuits, a feature typically associated with corporations.

This article will delve into LLCs and what you need to know to benefit from them. However, it's not a substitute for legal advice. Consult the relevant professionals for further guidance on LLCs.  

With that in mind, the article will first take you through the basics of LLC formation.

Forming An LLC

To form an LLC in the U.S., you generally need to follow these steps:

  1. Choose a state - Different states have different laws, fees, and ease of doing business. Research and choose a state that best suits your business needs.
  2. Choose a unique name - Your LLC's name must be unique and not in use by another company in your chosen state.
  3. Appoint a registered agent - A registered agent is a person or company that agrees to receive legal mail on behalf of your LLC. In most states, you cannot form an LLC without one.
  4. File the Articles of Organization - This document officially forms your LLC. It includes information about your business, such as its name, address, and the members' names.
  5. Create an operating agreement - This document outlines the ownership and operating procedures of the LLC. While not all states require an operating agreement, it's a good idea to have one to prevent future disputes among members.

These are general steps and may vary depending on the state where you incorporate your LLC.

After forming an LLC, you need to open a U.S. bank account.

Opening A U.S. Bank Account

Once you form an LLC, you must open a U.S. bank account for your business. There are many options geared towards making this process stress-free. 

One such option is opening a Mercury bank account for foreigners. You can explore this and other options to see what works best. 

Why Form An LLC In The U.S.?

Forming an LLC in the U.S. offers numerous benefits for foreign entrepreneurs. Some of these benefits are: 

  • It Grants You Access To The U.S. Market

An LLC allows you to establish a presence in the U.S.

For example, you run a successful software development company in the U.K. You've established a demand for your unique services in the U.S. market. 

By setting up an LLC in the U.S., you can directly engage with this new customer base, potentially accelerating business growth

  • You Can Benefit From Limited Liability Protection

Imagine you've launched a new product in the U.S. market, but it doesn't perform as expected and leads to financial losses. If your business is an LLC, your personal assets (like your home, car, or personal savings) will remain protected. 

Even if your company faces a lawsuit or debt, your creditors won't use these personal assets to cover these business liabilities. 

  • Credibility

Having a U.S. business entity can enhance your foreign business credibility with U.S. customers, suppliers, and investors. 

By forming a U.S. LLC, you show potential customers, suppliers, and investors that you're committed to the U.S. market. This can enhance your brand's credibility and trustworthiness.

  • There Are Potential Tax Advantages

Depending on your circumstances, a U.S. LLC may offer tax benefits.

For instance, an LLC's profits are not subject to corporate tax. Instead, they 'pass through' to the owners, who report them on their tax returns. Taking advantage of this provision could lead to tax savings. 

However, U.S. tax law is complex, and the specifics will depend on your situation, so it's crucial to consult a tax professional.

Maintaining Your LLC

After forming your LLC, you'll need to maintain compliance with state and federal laws. This includes filing annual reports, paying necessary fees, and keeping your registered agent service active.



Venturing into the U.S. market as a foreign entrepreneur can be daunting. However, understanding the ins and outs of forming and managing an LLC can significantly ease this transition.

While articles like this serve as an initial guide, reaching out to relevant experts for personalised advice is highly beneficial. Business attorneys, tax advisors, and business consultants can provide invaluable insights tailored to your situation.

These experts can take you through the complexities of U.S. business law, tax regulations, and strategic market entry. Their services can ensure that your journey into the U.S. market is well-informed and legally sound.

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Written by:
Stephen Hart

Stephen Hart

Founder - Cardswitcher

Former - Chief Financial Officer @ Worldpay

Stephen brings a wealth of experience honed through years in the financial sector, particularly in the card processing payments industry. His illustrious career spans key roles at PwC, Natwest, and the role of CFO at WorldPay, before going on to found card processing comparison site, CardSwitcher. He is passionate about helping growing businesses to understand the card processing landscape so they can make savvy financial decisions.